Including hobbies and interests on your CV is not likely to help you land a job
The inclusion of an “interests” or “hobbies” section at the end of your CV is not a professional requirement and, more often than not, can have an adverse affect on your application. In most cases, hobbies and interests will not help you land the job.
An additional section such as this lengthens your CV, which should be limited to a couple of pages of key information. Recruiters also read hundreds of CV a week and additional sections are rarely read, as they are not considered critical to your application.
The fact that you enjoy playing tennis or reciting poetry is far less critical than having the right qualifications, skills and experience. Remember, recruiters and employers will determine your suitability on paper first, and later assess your personality and potential cultural fit in a face-to-face interview.
In extreme cases, jobseekers have chosen to include lengthy or exaggerated comments about their personal interests or causes, and this sets them up for failure. Sections promoting a personal cause may cause employers to make unnecessary judgments or incorrect assumptions about the candidate.
If you do decide to include a hobbies section, don’t list generic interests to merely fill space. To say you enjoy “socialising with friends” does not add value to your application. It only takes up valuable space on your CV, which could be better used selling skills that are relevant for the job. Instead, say you “work well in a team”, which has a similar meaning, but is more relevant in a professional sense.
A CV’s purpose is to provide valuable information that demonstrates your ability to occupy the role you’re applying for.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Trivial pursuits.